Westminster Dog Show 2012: Behind-the-Scenes Grooming of Competitors [PHOTOS]

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  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This dog has his fur blown dry with a hair blow dryer.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This short-coated dog takes a break with a cat-nap.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This canine enjoys a leg message after his performance.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This German Shepherd has his fur combed by his owner.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    Much like New York Fashion Week, the Westminster Dog Show includes an intense grooming process with tools from combs and razors to hair blow dryers and straighteners.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This poodle prepares for some hair spray before the show.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This hound waits patiently as his handler arranges his hair.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This collie takes a break after a stressful performance in the ring.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This long-haired dog enjoys a pre-show grooming.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This short-haired dog waits patiently to be brushed.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This speckled dog has his jaw massaged before the show.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This whippet wears a bedazzled purple cape after the show.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This Yorkie prepares for the competition with bows in its hair.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This Shi Tzu prepares for the Westminster Dog Show by having its hair brushed.
  • Westminster Dog Show Behind-the-Scenes
    This long-haired Dachshund poses patiently for photographers.
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As the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off in New York, hundreds of dogs gather in Madison Square Garden to show off their coats, gait and personality. However, before the dogs even step into the ring, there is an extensive pre-show grooming process that needs to take place.

While smooth-coated dogs from Rottweilers to Labradors may require less preparation, poodles, shih-tzus, and other long-haired dogs have an extensive pre-show routine. From coiffed fur to bedazzled neckwear, a dog's grooming routine for the Westminster Dog Show can be quite the production.

Much like New York Fashion week, the behind-the-scenes area can be more fascinating than the show itself. Take a look at these dogs as they prepare for the prestigious Westminster Dog Show competition. 

The prestigious Westminster Dog show will feature 2,077 dogs and 105 Junior Showmanship entries. Dogs come from 47 states across the United States, with the most entries coming from New York, California and Pennsylvania. 

Dogs will compete against each other in breeds and varieties in the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups on Monday. The Group competition will be in the evening. Tuesday will feature the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups. From the over 2,000 competitors, 185 will win Best of Breed awards and seven will be Group winners of the Best in Show competition late Tuesday. 

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